Spring Gardening Tips

Spring-Gardening jpg

 

Spring is here, which means it’s time to revamp your garden. It’s time to live surrounded by flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors, assortments of fruits and vegetables, maybe even a new tree or bush for your front yard. No matter what it is you’re planting this year, there are a few essential steps to make them grow to be more beautiful, or delicious, than ever.

  1. Clean Out the Garden

It’s time to clean your garden and remove all the debris (leaves, leftover snow, etc). Get rid of weeds, making sure that you get the roots so they won’t grow back. This is also a good time to sharpen your garden tools, if needed, because you’re going to require them for plant maintenance and soil care.

  1. Revitalize the Soil

Add organic material like compost or manure can add moisture, which is beneficial to your garden because your soil is likely dried out and packed after winter. You might need to test the soil to see what nutrients it needs, so you give it the right mixture. You might also need to add more fertilizer to increase the health of the soil and increase the life of your plants.

  1. Trim Old Plants

Pruning plants that survived the winter will ensure that they’ll grow again in the spring. Make sure to wait until mid-April or even May in case there’s an unexpected freeze. Blooming plants should be pruned right after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers. Summer plants should be pruned in early spring.

  1. Add Mulch

You should think about adding mulch to your flower beds and garden in addition to fertilizers and organic materials. One to three inches of mulch helps to prevent weeds and diseases, while also keeping the moisture in the garden and maintaining the temperature. The rule of thumb is to keep the mulch a few inches from the plant stems to prevent roots from rotting.

  1. Plant New Flowers and Shrubs

Once you’ve gotten the garden in shape and handled all of the old plants, it’s time to turn your attention to new plants. Some recommendations for good spring plants include:

  • Pansies
  • Snapdragons
  • Vegetables like lettuce, peas and arugula
  • Redbuds
  • Transplanting tomato plants from indoor pots to outside
  • Lilacs
  • Tulips

Leaning towards perennials can be more cost-effective and less time-consuming than annuals. You should lean towards planting more perennials rather than annuals, because annuals have to be replaced every year where ass perennials can last up to 3 years and can typically survive a few surprise winter frosts even while in bloom.

What to Do for the Rest of Spring?

Once your spring garden is up and running again, it’s important to keep in mind that the work is not quite done. It will need some care so it stays colorful and beautiful throughout the season. Here are some quick tips for garden maintenance throughout the rest of the season:

Mid-Spring:

  • Consider new flower beds.
  • Plant some hardy annuals.
  • Transplant seeds.
  • Mulch.

Late Spring:

  • Deadhead and remove bulbs.
  • Keep up on weeding.
  • Prune flowering shrubs.

Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Spring is JUST around the corner, and you know what that means: Spring Cleaning! Oh, the joy. As unappealing as it sounds, we have a few tips to make the whole process easier on you so that you can enjoy more of the sunny weather and less of the scrubbing.

1. Lime build-up around the faucet
The best way to get rid of lime buildup around the faucet it is to lay paper towels over the fixture, soak it with vinegar and let it set for an hour. The deposits will soften and become easier to remove.

2. Finish your floors
Wax or apply a sealer to your floors to protect them from another year of wear-and-tear. Better yet, use a combination wash-and-wax floor cleaner; the benefit to this is pretty self-explanatory.

3. Clean your coils
You should clean your refrigerator’s condensor coil to prevent your fridge from overheating due to dust build-up. To remove dust from coils attached to the hard-to-reach back side of the fridge, carefully pull the refrigerator out several feet and vacuum thoroughly; finish by sweeping or vacuuming the floor area you’ve revealed.


Tips for Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung! As the cold weather begins to go into hibernation and the sun takes its place in the spotlight, your home could use a little extra love during the transition. During the winter months, dirt from muddy boots can get tracked into your home and pet hair can linger in nooks and crannies. With just a teeny bit of time and effort, you can freshen up your home in no time to go hand-in-hand with the sense of renewal that comes with spring!

1.) Make a Schedule

Our lives are too busy to dive head first into spring cleaning willy nilly. The last thing we want to do is create more stress for ourselves. Scope out your home and prioritize—which spaces need the most TLC? Is there anywhere you regularly skip in your routine cleaning that is in dire need of attention? Map out what rooms/areas you’re going to tackle and when. A set schedule will keep you on task and make the process less overwhelming.

2.) Love Your Walls & Windows

During our routine cleaning, it’s easy to place top priority on the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and commonly frequented areas. Your windows and walls can fall to the wayside and there could be dust and residue build up you don’t even notice. Take a sponge or damp towel and make sure to wipe your walls from top to bottom. When cleaning the windows, make sure to take off the screen and remove dust. A steam cleaner with a squeegee is an excellent way to get your windows in tip-top shape.

3.) Get Rid of Clutter

We can get lazy in the winter months and let mail stack up, gather piles of laundry in the corner, and who knows what else. Feeling stressed? It’s no wonder because studies show that disorganization and chaos attributes to your stress level. If you have old magazines that have collected dust, toss them. If you have kitchen items all over the place, put them in the pantry or get a basket for fruit and veggies. Trust us—you’ll feel like a weight’s been lifted off your shoulders.

4.) Invest in a Good Vacuum

So much junk can gather on your carpets and rugs over the winter. Plus, during the beginning of spring, allergens can run rampant. If you don’t want to fully commit to shampooing your carpets during the spring, we highly recommend investing in a HEPA vacuum. HEPA filtration removes dirt and dust as well as impurities in the air. High-quality vacuums tend to come with a variety of attachments, so you can really dig into corners, walls, and beyond.

5.) Conquer the Kitchen and Bathroom

We can see the look of horror in your eyes, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A kitchen refresh can simply entail wiping down your cabinets and shelves in your refrigerator. If you have family members who are sensitive to allergens or you just haven’t done it in awhile, consider replacing your bathroom fan. Make sure to clean out any junk drawers and any old cosmetics and beauty products sitting dormant. Check any shower liners for mildew and replace them if so. A little bit can go a long way with these spaces!


Home Resolutions for 2017

By now, anyone who’s boasting a “New Year, New You” might sound like a broken record. There’s no denying that a new year brings a sense of renewal as it opens a platform to hone in on some new goals and expectations. While health, fitness, and finances tend to dominate “New Year’s Resolutions,” we can also flip the script and spin those areas of improvement. It’s not rocket science or a huge financial undertaking—look and see some of our favorite Home Resolutions for 2017:

 

1.) Get Organized (Rid Yourself of Clutter!)

Not everyone is a hoarder, but we could all stand to get rid of some excess when it comes to our home’s space. The easiest solution is to reconfigure your storage space. Get high storage shelves for hallways or pull-out storage units for your room or communal spaces. If you’re in a pinch for space to begin with, there are several ways to get creative like utilizing shoe organizers to store keys, notepads, and small household items.

 

2.) Get out of Debt (Budget)

Saving money and getting out of debt are popular resolutions, but homeowners should take this resolution one step further and allocate funds specifically for their homes. The U.S. Census Bureau finds that the average cost of home improvement and maintenance is about $3,300 per household. A yearly home budget will prevent overspending and will allow you to plan for bigger projects like new roofing or a new appliance. Lending institutions recommend setting aside 1%-3% of your home’s value for yearly improvements. For instance, if your home is valued at $500,000, save $5,000 annually for upkeep.

 

3.) Trim the Fat (Monitor Energy Use)

Saving energy help the environment, but it can make immense differences in your savings. An easy place to start for gaining control of your energy use is your HVAC ductwork. These ducts can leak your heating and cooling system through holes and loose connections. Plus, sealing and insulating your ducts can improve your heating and cooling systems up to 20%, according to Energy Star. You might not even need to hire a contractor. You can use a duct sealing called Mastic (metal-backed duct tape) and seal the connections at vents and floor registers.

 

4.) Volunteer (Get Out in the Community!)

Volunteering isn’t only a selfless act of kindness, it also provides immense balance in your life. Consider joining a neighborhood watch program and discussing community concerns and priorities. A community garden is a great way to not only eat healthier and sustain the environment, and you can meet and connect with your neighbors, too.